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Road to fulfilling the zero waste principle


Five years ago, the government through the Ministry of Environment banned the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging in an effort to curb environmental degradation.


Since the ban came to effect on 28th August 2017, the extent of pollution has drastically reduced in the environment especially after hefty fines and penalties were imposed of those breaking the law.


On the other hand, efforts to encourage reuse, recycling and also recovery of the amount of solid waste generated remains high and appears to be on the increase according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry National Sustainable Waste Management Policy 2021.


This however has also seen some champions of environment such as the Ramani Recyclers who have turned it their business to make good out the waste material.


Ramani Recyclers which is based in Thika, old castle breweries recycle tetra packs and according to the company’s operations manager Mogire Amos, their venture has reduced the wastage in the environment.


“Tetra packs have seven layers. There is a layer inside that acts as a binder. It is 100 percent non adhesive. That is what we use to shred and make a boards that are used to make furniture and even roofing materials out of it,” says Mogire.


The boards made can be used as a replacement of Medium Density Fibreboard and marine boards used in construction.


 “Despite them looking similar our boards are stronger and can be recycled up to seven times unlike the marine board that can only be used once,” Mogire said adding that their board also cut costs immensely for the use since they are not very expensive.


The boards, he further explained are fire retardant meaning their speed to catch fire is slower than regular boards.


He said that they source the Tetra Pak papers from Kevian Kenya who supply, ex-factory materials from tetra pack company in Industrial area and the also have collectors like takataka solutions who are paid per kilogram.


“When the firm opened up in 2019, our daily production capacity was 1500 tonnes but at this time we are aiming at 300,000 tonnes. For example if we can be able to recycle 300,000 tonnes per month we’d be able to clean Nairobi if that is where we are starting with, “he says.


He urged the government to sensitize Kenyans that Tetra Pak papers, saying they are not a waste but can be recycled and turned into wealth. Tetra packs are normally thrown out as waste whilst they can be recycled. Kenyans need to understand that these paks have a laminate on top that does not decompose.


According to the National Sustainable Waste Management Policy, 2021, provision of a framework for sustainable waste management nationally should be in place through implementation of zero waste and circular economy principles and through practical planning and implementation of waste management at the county levels.


The sustainable waste management policy has tasked the devolved units to ensure they provide central collection centers for materials that can be recycled. “County governments shall establish waste management infrastructure to promote source segregation, collection, and reuse and set up for materials recovery,” the bill says.

Welcome sign made of the recycled tetra pak papers.


According to the same bill, County governments have also been tasked with creating a county regulatory environment that promotes a market for recycled materials without compromising quality standards, public health and the environment.






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